6.  The Life and Ministry
of Jesus Christ:  II

Why did Jesus often refer to himself as the “Son of Man”?
  • Read Mark 2:23-28.
  • Jesus could have used many titles to describe himself--in his responsibility to Israel.  The one Jesus used the most was a term from the latest of the Old Testament prophets (like Daniel):  Son of Man.
  • The way Jesus used this title, Son of Man, was to point out the fact that what Jesus did, we should do also.  Jesus was not setting himself up above others--but alongside them as their Redeemer.  Jesus did not want to impress others--he wanted to teach them.  He wanted to show them the Way in which they could return to full favor with God the Father.
  • As Son of Man, Jesus represented the very best of human qualities that we should all aspire to so that we too should become restored Sons and Daughters of the Most High God.
  • As the Son of Man, Jesus was down to earth, fairly uncomplex, in showing others how they should live as God's true children, what they should do and say.
  • The biggest problem that Jesus had as the Son of Man was the very religious people who had created a huge gap between the common people and God through all of their fancy religious rituals and their difficult religious rules.  Jesus, as Son of Man, came to close that gap--even if it meant having to get rid of all the religious junk that burdened the people.  This would not make Jesus well liked among the very religious of Israel.

Why did Jesus refer to his miracles as signs?
  • Read all of John, chapter 2.
  • Why at this wedding in Cana was Jesus at first unready to offer any help when they ran out of wine?  What do you think caused him to change his mind?  What did he do?  Why was his miracle of changing the water into wine taken as a sign.  What was it a sign of?
  • Why then later did the people of Jerusalem demand of Jesus a sign for him to have the right to clear out the Temple the way he did?  What sign did he offer?  Do you think it had any immediate effect?  What were its long-term effects?
  • What was the effect of Jesus' other miraculous signs he performed in Jerusalem?  How did Jesus himself feel about these signs?

What was the relationship of the disciples to Jesus?
  • Read John 6:53-71.
  • Jesus told all his disciples that if they did not eat his flesh and drink his blood, they could not have eternal life.
  • What do you think he meant by these words?
  • Why did so many of the disciples have a hard time understanding him?
  • What did Jesus say had to happen before people could understand him?
  • How did Peter and the rest of the Twelve disciples react?

What were his expectations of them?
  • Read John 13:34-35.
  • Why was the quality of their love to be the major identifying feature of them as followers of Jesus?  Why do you think that this was important to Jesus?  How do you suppose a person could ever get such love in their hearts?
  • Read John 14:12-17.
  • Does Jesus really expect that his disciples will do greater things than he did?   How?
  • How does what Jesus expects of those who would be his followers always depend on total faith or trust in God?  How else could a person ever achieve such great things?
  • What part does the Holy Spirit have in all of this?

Why did Jesus refer to himself as “the Way, the Truth and the Life”—the only  way to the heavenly Father?
  • Read John 14:6-11.
  • Remember that it is a trusting love (Greek: agape: prounounced uh-GAH-pay) that connects all life:  people to God and people to people.
  • What part does such trusting or agape love play as the Way, Truth and the Life, the only way to the heavenly Father?
  • How does Jesus himself represent totally this Way, Truth and Life?
  • Can you think of any other way to God?
  • Do you think you understand why Jesus would say that he himself was the Way, Truth and Life--the only way to the heavenly Father?
Continue on to the next section:  7. Jesus's Death and Resurrection
Return to the home page: The Spiritual Pilgrim

  Miles H. Hodges